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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Emerald Cities Collaborative Partners with DOE to launch the Better Communities Alliance

A Landmark Initiative to Ignite Clean Energy Action in 60 Cities & Counties Nationwide

Press Release – September 27, 2016, Washington, D.C. – Announced by the White House during Smart Cities Week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is launching the Better Communities Alliance (BCA), a groundbreaking collaborative effort among local governments, philanthropies, nonprofit organizations and leading private companies to accelerate local clean energy progress and leadership across the country.

“We are proud that DOE has tapped ECC as one of 60 partners and affiliates joining the Better Communities Alliance,” said ECC President and CEO Denise Fairchild. “As part of the Obama White House’s broader Smart Cities Initiative, BCA will reflect the administration’s commitment to a smarter, more collaborative approach to working with local communities that puts citizens, community groups and local leaders at the center of its efforts to identify local needs and priorities, develop and build upon evidence-based and data-driven solutions and strategically invest Federal funding and technical assistance.”

With 87 percent of total U.S. energy to be consumed in cities by 2030, America’s city and county leaders, through the BCA, are making commitments to reduce wasted energy in homes and buildings, expand renewable energy and sustainable transportation options for their residents and businesses, harness new energy-saving technologies and invest in resilient power systems and community infrastructure.

The BCA is part of DOE’s broader Better Buildings Initiative that aims to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade. Through Better Buildings, public and private sector organizations across the country are working together to share and replicate successful strategies to drive energy efficiency. Such efforts can save billions of dollars on energy bills, cut greenhouse gas emissions and create thousands of jobs.

“Cities and counties are already centers for clean energy innovation across the United States,” said DOE’s Under Secretary for Science and Energy Franklin Orr. “Through the Better Communities Alliance, DOE is committed to further supporting America’s local governments and working with leaders from the public and private sectors to deliver energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable transportation solutions that create cleaner and more prosperous communities for millions of Americans.”

As part of the Better Buildings Initiative, the BCA will support ECC’s work in making communities cleaner, healthier and more economically just and inclusive. To date, the communities where ECC is working that have signed onto the initiative are Los Angeles and Miami-Dade Counties, New York City, San Francisco and Seattle. A full list of participating communities, which DOE will continuously update can be found here. So far 34 local governments serving 40 million Americans are on board.

These partners are working with DOE to accelerate local clean energy progress and bolster leadership. They will receive streamlined access to DOE clean energy resources, opportunities to apply for resources, access to forums for peer networking and expert dialogue and federal recognition of clean energy achievements.

In addition, the BCA will improve community access to DOE’s existing clean energy expertise and resources and create actionable dialogues and peer exchange between public and private partners to identify opportunities for collaboration and progress.

ECC is one of 26 public and private “affiliates” with which the BCA is partnering. The list also includes the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and Institute for Market Transformation, which are represented on ECC’s board. The affiliates will help identify specific opportunities for collaboration with DOE and local governments:


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